We kept on taking small breaks on the way to keep ourselves out of fatigue. The first break was at Srirangapatna (near Mysore) for a better heavy breakfast. Bypassed Mysore on the way to Madikeri. The drive to Coorg was very good, we had nice stoppages at coffee plantations, tree shades and of course bio-breaks. The complete drive was real real fun, no tiredness at all – not the way expected it to be.
”FLASHBACK: It’s a week left for us to leave for the bike trip to Coorg. We are planning our stoppages and places to see. All of us are scared deep in our guts in the thought of that long drive. Nobody was confident enough that we will make it safe and healthy, one reason being we never had such prior experience of a long drive. We were enthusiastic though, enthralled by the very feel of the upcoming adventure never tried by us.”
After the entire fun ride we finally reached our hotel – “Hotel Cauvery” in Madikeri at 2:30 pm, 8 hours after we started. We unpacked the luggages and got freshened up. It was already ~ 250 kms of drive. All got together in a room to plan out the rest of the trip. Everyone agreed to the first thing in the agenda, LUNCH.
The café of our hotel was already closed. Its 4:00 pm in the evening. So we moved to a nearby restaurant and had our snacks/lunch. That evening we thought of completing the visit to Abbey falls. It was ~ 10 kms drive from our hotel. We took off in our bikes to the waterfalls. We were quickly there. Very small treks lead us to the falls. It was a nice place (though honestly not the best I have seen). We captured the moment with few snaps and pushed on our way back.
On the way back we stopped over a kings tomb (could not find the name of the king). It was almost evening with the sun setting down. There were few enthusiastic kids playing cricket. They quickly agreed to be our guide and they lead us through the cool structure. It was getting dark, so time to get back to hotel. On way back, stopped over a temple. We planned for the Madikeri fort, but it was already dark. The day ended well with dinner and 283 kms of driving. Dinner was at the restaurant of Hotel Cauvery (one honest advice, never eat there).
27th January 2006: Day 2 of our journey. Today’s plan is to go to Tal Cauvery. It is known as the origin of river Cauvery. It is also a holy place. Its gonna be a 47 kms drive, so we started early. The first destination was raja seat. It’s a viewpoint with a nice garden. After a brief stop there enjoying the morning sun, its drive to Tal Cauvery. The drive to Tal Cauvery was very scenic with almost 95% of mountain biking, sharp corners, steep roads and lots of fun. With Sujeet around, the speed at which we moved hovered around 80 kmph.
Reached Tal Cauvery. It’s a bright sunny day, and quite windy at the hilltop. Suji Deka and Jai wanted to go see the spring (origin of Cauvery). I decided to stay back, just enjoying the cool view outside. Once they are back outside again, its time to climb up to the top of the hill via the steps. I guess there were ~ 200 steps. We were damn tired once we reached the top (shows our fitness level). But with nice view in front of us, and the soothing breeze, the tiredness disappeared immediately. Far off at a distance we saw some windmills (the first windmills I have seen in my life). The view was awesome, and we started convincing ourselves that its worth a close look at the windmills. The idea cooked up to go out on the trek and we started off to get to a closer look.
After a reached our first target spot we had, we decided not to stop but get closest to the windmill. After the grueling and tiring walk when we finally reached the windmills, it was really satisfying that we started to congratulate each other. Its not that we did something really great, but we did something really satisfying, to walk the roads not often taken. After a small rest it was time to walk back, back to our DARLING bikes for the drive back to our hote
We were already tired that day after the trek. So we decided to do no more travel and just rest. Only thing that was planned for the day was go hunting for good Coorg cuisines. After some unsuccessful hunt for “Pork Chilly” we just went ahead and had our drink and dinner @ East End Hotel. It was some good food and good night sleep.
28th January 2006: The plan for the day is to spend first half of the day sight seeing and next half traveling back to Mysore. Spend the evening at Brindavan Garden, night at a Mysore hotel and spend the next morning at a water park.
The first destination was “Nisargadhama, Kushalnagar”, a island on river Cauvery. It did not look like a island though, but was fun. There was a small zoo with spotted deer’s in it. There was also elephant ride which was supposed to start a bit late, and we decided not to wait that long. Back to the entry point stopped by a restaurant (dhaba truly speaking) to have our breakfast. Ordered some Idli-Vada and Bread-Omelet. Till the time our breakfast reached we spent our time with the rabbits in the garden nearby. After a good heavy breakfast it was time to go to the next location, “Harangi Dam”. We reached there pretty soon. Photography was not allowed (because of terrorist threat, LTTE I guess). We took some snaps from outside the boundary at the entry gate from far off. Deposited our cameras and went in. time for some rest, slept over the dam and went besides the water body (remembered the good old NERIST day’s, where we enjoyed the Dikrong river).
The next one was the last stoppage, a Buddhist temple at Bylakuppe. Its one of the places of Tibetian refugees in India and Dalai Lama. It’s close to Kushalnagar in Kodagu. The first impression I had looking at it was, amazing. The golden dome was shining bright in the sunlight. Spent most of our time inside. We are getting hungry and planned for some local tibetian cuisine. Finally entered one of them. Ordered noodles, and chopstick. I had never eaten with a chopstick. So after minutes of struggle, the hotel owner came to our rescue. Once he taught us how to use it, it seemed very easy now. After finishing our food, it was time to be back.
Though the initial plan was to stay back at Mysore that night, we decided to get back to Bangalore. Stopped over for dinner on the way. It was night and driving became dangerous at the highway, though thrilling. The headlights blinding our faces and visibility from our headlight not that good, we cruised back to Bangalore in the Mysore highway. Finally reached home @ 10:30 pm at night. The total distance clocked in our bike was 575 kms.
As planned on our way back, the next day we went to see the blockbuster of the year “RANG DE BASANTI”.